This weekend was more relaxing than most; instead of running around a city trying to cram as much in as possible I was able to spend a relatively quiet weekend with a friend, Camille, in Toulouse.
Toulouse isn’t a city that would regularly be on my travel bucket list but it’s the fourth largest city in France and whenever I mention to one of my French classmates that I know someone in the city I can see their opinion of me rise just a bit and respect grow.
Toulouse isn’t what I think of as a tourist town – there’s a few cathedrals, some museums, and some good shopping but if you were to pull up the Toulouse Wikipedia page and search for the word “tour” or “tourism” you probably wouldn’t find much, which is fine when your main purpose to visit a place isn’t to be a tourist.
I arrived after a short layover in Brussels (3 hours short, enough time to get sick of their airport but still pick up some chocolates) and met up with Camille by baggage claim.
We took the tram to her apartment and then headed back out for some food.
The weekend was rather uneventful so I’ve decided to compile a list with the highlights:
- There is a restaurant that makes a great hamburger.
- The two rules I perceived of rugby: always pass backwards and the French team has to lose miserably.
- While I always find a bookstore in every city few are so large they take up 3 different buildings on the same street.
- Whenever you try to make a recipe you found on Facebook or Pinterest it never comes out as it should have.
- Sometimes, lazy and cloudy Sundays are the best Sundays.
- Overnight trains are not for sleeping – they are for listening to every history podcast you downloaded beforehand.
Adding to that last point a bit, I took an overnight train from Toulouse to Paris and spent a day (a whopping 7 hours) wandering the city. I couldn’t find a cheap or relatively short flight out of Toulouse and opted to take a train to Paris then fly out from there.
Paris is nice. It’s pretty and there’s a lot there to see and do. 7 hours clearly wasn’t enough but I felt like I understand now what I want to see when I go back.
Plus, I was able to have breakfast in front of the Eiffel Tower with no one there – that overnight train arrived at 7am so I had the run of the city for a while before the tourists showed up. Also was able to wander around the grounds of the Louvre, take a short walking tour of some of the city center, and see Notre-Dame. I ended the day going from bookstore to bookstore and eating a nice meal before heading to Orly for my flight back to Prague!
You may note that this post doesn’t have any pictures. That is due to the fact my phone was stolen in Krakow and I don’t have a camera so until my new/old phone arrives these posts might lack visuals – please don’t blame me, blame whoever decided to take my phone!